What is Masseter Botox: Uses, Benefits, and Potential Side Effects

botox in masseter

Botox, an injectable muscle relaxant, employs onabotulinumtoxinA, a neurotoxin that temporarily hinders muscle movement. While it’s frequently utilized to reduce forehead wrinkles, when applied to the masseter muscles near your cheekbones, it can alter your facial contours and alleviate facial pain. This specialized application is the masseter Botox. Continue reading to discover more about this treatment, its advantages, and potential side effects.

What is Masseter Botox?

The masseter muscle plays a key role in the chewing process, positioned on the side of your face, connecting your cheekbone to your lower jawbone. When Botox is inserted into the masseter, it’s termed jaw Botox. This procedure employs botulinum toxin to momentarily halt nerve messages in the masseter, causing the muscle to become immobile.

What Can Botox in the Masseter Achieve?

Botox Masseter is commonly used for the following:

Jaw Pain and Clenching

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) links the jaw to the sides of your head. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) leads to jaw muscle and joint discomfort, making the jaw feel rigid and causing clicking or locking. Jaw discomfort and clenching impact a notable portion, approximately 5-12%, of individuals in the population. In a 2016 research, scientists confirmed that masseter botox for TMJ have reduced both jaw pain and clenching.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, which doctors call bruxism, involves clenching and grinding teeth during wakefulness or while asleep. Sleep-related bruxism is a prevalent issue, affecting approximately kids and adults.

Historically, treatments for teeth grinding included mouthguards, medications, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. However, a study from 2019 revealed that injecting Botox into the masseter muscle proved more effective in treating bruxism compared to traditional methods. Botox reduces the intensity and frequency of grinding and also alleviates discomfort.


Tension headaches rank as the most widespread type of headache and are closely linked to TMD. These headaches stem from muscle tension and constriction, with symptoms such as:

  • Aching on both sides of the head
  • Gradual onset of pain
  • A dull, persistent ache
  • Tightening around the head
  • Mild to moderate discomfort (not severe)

Masseter Botox offers relief for TMD by easing muscle tension around the temples.

Potential Side Effects of Botox Masseter

When you opt for Masseter Botox, you’re likely to find it generally safe. However, as with any medical treatment, there is a possibility of encountering certain side effects. These potential side effects can include:

  • Discomfort or Swelling: You may notice some mild pain or swelling at the area where the injection was administered. This will subside on its own.
  • Bruising: In some cases, you might experience bruising at the injection site, which will fade over time.
  • Headache: Occasionally, individuals undergoing Masseter Botox treatment may experience a mild headache.
  • Flu-Like Symptoms: Some people might feel a bit under the weather temporarily, similar to flu-like symptoms. Rest assured, this is usually brief and should pass quickly.
  • Changes in Expression: Masseter Botox can affect your facial muscles, which could lead to a temporary crooked smile or mild changes in your facial expressions. These alterations are usually subtle and transient.
  • Drooling: On rare occasions, you might experience a bit of temporary drooling, but this should also resolve relatively quickly.

Who Should Avoid Getting Botox in the Masseter?

If you’re considering Botox, it’s important to be aware of certain situations where it’s best to avoid the treatment. You should avoid getting Botox if:

  • You’re Pregnant: If you’re currently pregnant, it’s generally recommended to postpone Botox treatments until after pregnancy to ensure the safety of both you and your baby.
  • You’re Breastfeeding: Botox can potentially enter breast milk, and its effects on a nursing infant are not well-understood. To err on the side of caution, it’s advisable to wait until you’ve finished breastfeeding before considering Botox.
  • You’re Allergic to Cow’s Milk Protein: Individuals with an allergy to cow’s milk protein should steer clear of Botox, as the production process involves using certain proteins derived from cow’s milk.
  • You Have a Neuromuscular Disorder: If you have a neuromuscular disorder like myasthenia gravis or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Botox can potentially worsen your condition. Consult your healthcare provider to discuss the risks and benefits.
  • You Have Keloidal Scarring: People prone to keloidal scarring, which involves raised and thickened scars, should be cautious with Botox as it may increase the risk of such scarring at the injection site.
  • You Have Body Dysmorphic Disorder: If you’re dealing with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), characterized by an intense fixation on perceived flaws in your looks, it’s essential to seek guidance from a mental health expert prior to contemplating Botox treatment. BDD can lead to unrealistic expectations and dissatisfaction with cosmetic procedures.
  • You Have Unrealistic Expectations: Botox can enhance your appearance and reduce wrinkles, but it may not deliver dramatic, permanent changes.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Masseter Botox is a treatment you can get at a doctor’s office. It doesn’t take too long, about 15 minutes or so.

Here’s how it goes down: The doctor will first make sure the spots they’re going to inject are all nice and clean. Sometimes, they might put some cream on the spot to make it numb. After that, they’ll use a really small needle to put the Botox into your masseter muscles. The number of shots and how much Botox they use can be different for each person.

Learn What Masseter Botox is All About and Take Advantage of Its Benefits

If you’re seeking a non-invasive solution to jaw pain, facial contouring, or the reduction of teeth grinding, Masseter Botox could be your answer. This specialized application of Botox, which temporarily relaxes the masseter muscles, offers relief and aesthetic benefits. While generally safe, it’s essential to understand potential side effects and situations where Botox should be avoided. If you’re intrigued by the possibilities, consult with a qualified healthcare provider to explore whether Masseter Botox is the right choice for you. Take the first step towards a more comfortable and confident you.

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